Everything is moving. But it’s not all the same kind of movement. We seem to move in a different way than most of the things around us. When we move, it’s mostly for a purpose. We seem to know what we’re doing. Reaching for things, looking forward for a destination… We even attribute the same purposefulness to the movements we see in nature. Animals chasing each other, plants following the daily movement of sun, seasonal migrations of large herds linked to the orbital rotation of earth around the sun…

The first known movement based on a developed muscular and nervous system in the history of nature is that of the sea anemones reaching for miniature free floating organisms around them. When the anemones lost their stalks through evolution, they became the jellyfish. By the time jellyfish were roaming the seas, there were no other swimming creatures around. Nothing to chase, or escape from. Thus their movement is not characterized by a need to relocate their bodies, but rather by the random pulsations of food gathering resulting in an involuntary displacement. They’re not going anywhere. Just moving. Involuntarily.

When a line of ants are presented with an obstacle, they follow the edges of the object to go around it. They randomly choose which side to follow. Some ants end up walking on the shorter side, and they reach the other end in a shorter amount of time. Since each ant leaves a chemical residue as its walking, the amount of chemical breadcrumbs on the shorter side grow greater in time. More ants end up preferring the short side and the less economical route is completely deserted in a given amount of time.

When scattered by the wind, each ant starts walking in circles. The circles get bigger and bigger until each one finds its way back to the line.

As systematic as it may seem to a pragmatic eye, these movements lack a direction. The direction is either lost temporarily, undiscovered or it simply does not exist.

Movement is not always as pragmatic as one would imagine. We also have similar moments that interrupt the functional routine of our lives. We stop moving the way we do, or deviate slightly from the path, look around and start sensing a current around us. Insignificant they are, these moments may be the only times we sense what really is going around us. Just because we’re not looking to see, things become visible.